If a tenant-at-will does not provide a 30 day notice, cana landlorduse the security deposit to cover the remaining days?

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2011

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If a tenant-at-will does not provide a 30 day notice, cana landlorduse the security deposit to cover the remaining days?

Our tenants gave notice on the 26th of the month and moved out on the 2nd of the following month. We feel we should be able to keep an amount equal to the remaining days, minus the days that were covered by the previous month.

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whenever any tenants stop paying rent (because that's the real issue; not whether or not the tenants physically moved out), the landlord may, at the conclusion or termination of the tenancy, use their security deposit to cover any unpaid rent due and owing. For a month to month tenancy, if the tenant does not provide sufficient notice, the tenant is obligated for the remaining time on the 30 day notice period; thus, if a tenant only gave 1 week notice, the landlord is still owed another 3 weeks of rent. In that case, the landlord could use the security deposit to pay the unpaid 3 week rent.

Before doing this, though, check to see if there is any damage you need the deposit to pay for; if there is, and the deposit is not large for damage and rent both, you will need to sue the tenant for the additional amount owed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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